Lovers Re-Unite-ed: Red Len’s Late Night Re-Union

The last time Guido asked Len McCluskey about his relationship with Jennie Formby, Unite political director and the mother of his lovechild, he got very tetchy. Guido is sure, therefore, that there is nothing at all untoward about eyewitness reports of Jennie and Red Len gazing into each other’s eyes over multiple drinks in the Feather’s pub, SW1 late last night. It was cold and damp, but that did not stop the re-Unite-d lovers huddling outside in the cold, as Len the Lothario poured the mid-range Chardonnay, away from the prying eyes of other punters. He then bundled Jennie into a car so quickly, that our dozy half-cut super sleuth cocked up getting a snap of the pair.

Only a cynic would note that McCluskey fathered a child with Formby while he was still married to his first wife Ann, before moving into a union-funded London home with a second lover Paula Lace, with Jennie going on to marry another man. Lots of important Unite policy to discuss last night…

UPDATE: Another source says Len’s ex-lover Jenny was indeed at the pub and so was Len’s current girlfriend Karie Murphy. Our original source was clearly seeing double…

PCS Strike Over 1% Pay Rise Then Give Own Staff 1% Pay Rise

The tiresome PCS union is on strike again tomorrow, moaning that the 1% pay rise for public sector workers is unfair and demanding a 5% increase for their members instead. Since Guido enjoys nothing more than spending his afternoons reading through trade union financial reports, he thought he would share PCS’s plans for pay increases for their own staff. Lo and behold, PCS plan on awarding their staff, you guessed it, 1% pay increases for the years 2013-15:

Looks like PCS staff should join a trade union and go on strike!

Labour Selects Younger Woman Over Ageism Campaigner

Unite’s Political Director was among the first to toast the news that Liz McInnes had won Labour’s selection for the Heywood and Middleton by-election last night:

McInnes is being billed by her party as an “NHS worker” and “healthcare scientist”. She is the secretary of her local Unite branch and the chair of Unite’s Health Sector National Committee. Bizarrely her Twitter account disappeared as soon as she was announced as Labour’s candidate, as did her profile page on her local Labour website. Her publicly available Facebook page however still carries dozens of photos of her waving Unite flags at union marches, attending Unite conferences and wearing a “never kissed a Tory” t-shirt. As well as some, ahem, less safe for work snaps.

Already Liz is in robot candidate mode: “Only Labour can make Britain better off, putting hardworking families first with a plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.” She didn’t always stick to the party line however, condemning Miliband and Balls in a letter to the Guardian during the 2010 leadership contest: “If only one of the Eds were an Edwina, then we might have a real choice”. 55-year old Liz beat 56-year old age discrimination campaigner Miriam O’Reilly – ageism at the heart of the Labour Party…

Only 20 Pilgrims Left in Whitehall

Updated figures from the Cabinet Office appear to show that there are only 20 full time trade union ‘pilgrims’ still (not)working in government departments.

This is down from 200 civil servants in November 2011 who were paid not to work, but to instead undertake trade union activity in business hours.

Francis Maude is playing it as a £6 million saving per year.

Victory is almost in sight. Target zero.

Unions Not the Only Ones Who Need a Majority

Labour sources were last night unconcerned by the Tories’ announcement that “the next Conservative government” will introduce a 50% threshold for strikes. Frankie Maude has pledged to force unions to secure a “double majority” for strikes to be legal, a majority of members and a majority in favour of industrial action. On the face of it this seems another welcome trade union reform by Maude’s Cabinet Office, though if it is conditional on the almost impossible event of the Tories winning a majority next year then it is little more than window-dressing. As the Telegraph’s Polling Observatory shows today, it will take a small miracle for the Tories to do so. So far the LibDems have resisted union reform this time round. If the Tories are serious, this needs to be a red line in coalition negotiations after the election…

6 Inspiring Photos of the Mass Strikes Crippling Britain

Public sector workers are striking today, causing widespread chaos across the country as picket lines overflow with vast numbers taking industrial action:

Via @robdothutton

Via @jenwilliamsMEN

Via @tangent69

Via @unisoneastmids

Via @nickmcccps

Via @uniteccbc

The workers! United! Will never be defeated! All eight of them…

Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey promises Ed a blank cheque and law breaking to fight the Tories…

“.. we will not let Labour fight for this programme with one hand tied behind its back. We will be up against the party of the rich, bought and paid for by the rich… Unite will do its bit to make sure that the next election is not financially lop-sided because democracy demands a fair fight…

The Conservative Party should not assume that we will put respect for unjust laws ahead of our duty to fight exploitation and ruthless employers. We will fight for our members within the law where possible. But let the Tories be in no doubt that if they push us outside of the law, they will be responsible for the consequences, not us.”

Stay CLASS-y: Wife-Beater Tells Labour to Put Up Taxes

The Unite front group CLASS, despite their own gender failings, is devoted to furthering equal rights and women’s causes. So Guido was surprised to see them happily embrace such a controversial figure this afternoon.

Funnily enough the very left wing, but not right on, ‘think tank’ failed to ask Thomas Piketty about the time he assaulted his girlfriend:

‘After the charges were dropped, the French news agency AFP quoted a source close to Ms Filippetti as saying: “Mr Piketty has acknowledged the facts of the violence against Ms Filippetti and has apologised, so in the interests of the families and children, she did not proceed.” When the allegations re-surfaced in the media at the weekend, Mr Piketty confirmed that he had been arrested but contested the claims.’

Instead MPs and activists lapped up the discredited Frenchman’s thoughts on why the 50% rate of tax is not high enough. That’s right, Labour are spending one of their precious few days before the next election discussing putting taxes up with an economist who beat up his ex-girlfriend.

10 People Who Signed Up to Uber Because of the Cabbie Strike

The London cabbie strike is one of the stupidest industrial protests ever, literally driving business to their new rivals. Uber is reporting an 850% increase in app downloads today:

[…]

Unions Buy Labour’s Support in London Taxi Wars

Guido’s London readers will know that the capital’s rival taxi firms have descended into open warfare in recent weeks. Militant black cab drivers are having a hissy fit about being priced out of the market by Uber, who use an […]

Loony Lefties Abuse Tube Staff Working to Get You Home

Spare a thought for the brave strike breakers who are working in the face of union aggression this evening…

[…]

Coffee Shop Offer of the Day

The Grill Market cafe in Holborn had this sign up outside their shop this morning in solidarity with London’s commuters. Guido popped along for a cuppa just as they were taking it down, gagged by the hordes of striking RMT […]



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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